Friday flip through the archives: on beach walks and reading the stories of the land

This seemed appropriate for a Friday flip; both in terms of the current Daily Post theme of textures, and the conversations I’ve been having with Andy from Eye For a Pic about the geology of my hometown (and his), and of these “Shaky Isles” on which I now live.

Zimmerbitch

Waitemata sandstone; the sedimentary rock that forms the cliffs around much of Auckland's shoreline. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015 Waitemata sandstone; the sedimentary rock that forms the cliffs around much of Auckland’s shoreline. Castor  Bay, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

There was a moment, thirty odd years ago, when I considered switching from a social sciences degree to one in earth science — specifically geology. I like puzzles, and it’s always seemed to me that rocks contain all the clues necessary for a really good puzzle — if only one can read them.

Auckland, where I live, is built on around 53 volcanoes, and New Zealand generally is one of the most geologically active places in the world. Our rock formations then, are tapestries which tell of tectonic events on a monumental and destructive scale.

The cliffs of East Coast Bays, where these photos were taken, are comprised of sandstone; volcanic sediments deposited when Auckland was submerged under ancient seas.

Waitemata sandstone, with layers of iron and other minerals. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015 Waitemata sandstone, with layers of iron and other minerals…

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Friday flip through the archive: remembering the joy of walking by water with someone I love

It’s just as sunny and clear today as when these photos were taken. But I am in the kitchen making dinner for guests and the boy-child is taking another step into the adult world — organising utilities and shopping for saucepans for his new flat.

Zimmerbitch

Puhoi River estuary, at Wenderholm. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015 Puhoi River estuary, at Wenderholm. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

My son has booked an appointment to sit his restricted driver’s license in about four weeks. While I’m glad he has done this, it does mean the end of a particular era in our relationship. No more chauffeuring him to sports, music, parties and school events — and no more driving lessons. We won’t be spending lots of time in the car together, and I’m wondering if it will bring to an end the long, varied and highly enjoyable conversations we’ve always had while driving.

He mastered the basics of driving pretty quickly and so lately we have been focusing on longer trips where he has had to concentrate in heavy traffic conditions for longer periods of time. Last week we headed out of Auckland for lunch and a walk at Wenderholm Regional Park. It was a perfect day; clear…

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Friday — flipping flowers. “Gerbera noir: or recasting cheerful”

Two for the price of one? Some flowers and a flip through the blog’s archive.

Zimmerbitch

Vase of red gerberas. Edited with Stackables and Snapseed to achieve "painterly" effect. Image: Su Leslie, 2016 Gerberas. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

The gerbera is such an uncomplicated flower; unburdened by deep metaphorical significance. Blooms like lilies and roses carry enormous cultural baggage, but with a gerbera, what you see is what you get.

If gerberas were characters in a genre movie, they’d be the under-valued, ever-supportive, wise-cracking best friend. The botanic equivalent of Thelma Ritter.

But of course, genre rules can be broken. The side-kick can become the star; mysterious and complicated. Can we re-imagine gerberas at the heart of a romantic tragedy; Brief Encounter, Love Story, Moulin Rouge?

Vase of red gerberas; edited with Stackables and Snapseed to achieve distressed paint effect. Image: Su Leslie, 2016“I’ve fallen in love. I didn’t think such violent things could happen to ordinary people.” — Laura, Brief Encounter. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

Close-up shot of inverted gerbera. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables to create distressed paint effect. Image: Su Leslie, 2016“I know that this is the beginning of the end. Not the end of my loving you but the end…

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